What to buy and eat at Banzaan Fresh Market?
Banzaan Market in Patong Beach is an excellent experience during your holiday. It’s a lot easier to access than most local markets since it is just behind the gigantic Jungceylon Shopping Mall. So get your first glimpse of fun looking Thai fruits, amazing fishes, strange veggies and colourful sweets!
Banzaan Fresh Market (‘Banzaan’ is the Hokkien for ‘fresh market’) is very clean and bright. It might lack a bit of the local feel you get in other fresh markets on the island, but the food on display is of excellent quality and offers a wider variety as well. Banzaan is a perfect way to discover real Thailand in the first days (You can explore more local markets later). Banzaan Market is open all day, but it’s a lot nicer to come in the morning; even at 10 or 11 am, shelves are still well supplied. Later at night, all the area around the market transforms into immense street food.
Tropical Fruit Displays
The ground floor is where all the fresh food is. Like most markets, the place is divided into zones: fruits, veggies, meat, fish and all the cooking ingredients. People are friendly and often speak a bit of English. A visit will be your chance to see many unusual Thai fruits, so don’t hesitate to buy some funny looking ones and try them. Except for the pungent Jack Fruit and the well known Durian, all other fruits, even scary or weird-looking, like Dragon fruit, Salai or Custard Apple, are sweet and don’t have a strong taste.
Veggies corner is always fascinating, with many unknown species of plants that often look more like weeds. You might recognise several ingredients used in the famous Tom Yam or Tom Ka: Lemongrass, Galangal and Kafir lime.
Meat and Fish
Meat corner is not as famous as the fish area for travellers, but everything looks a lot more hygienic than at Phuket town market or local village markets. Despite the ‘raw’ display, meat sold in markets might be fresher than those found in ‘better presented’ supermarkets.
The fish corner is fascinating, with a large variety of very fresh fish and seafood, but what catches the eye a lot are the live hanging crabs endlessly swimming in the air, suspended by a string. Eels and catfish are still frantically swimming in their buckets, and cockle shells might spit water at you if you stare at them for too long. Once you get a little familiar with Thailand, you can buy your super fresh fish here and carry it to the food court upstairs to have it cooked for a small fee. Fun and cheaper than ordering in a seafood restaurant.
The Food Court
A set of escalators takes you upstairs, where you will find a bit of clothing but mainly a large food court. As mentioned earlier, you can buy your seafood downstairs and carry it to one of the restaurants that will cook it for you. We haven’t tried it personally, but it seems to be a popular and fun way to have a seafood lunch. The Hemingway restaurant downstairs seems to be a lot more successful. One corner of the second floor sells unbranded clothes and jeans.
Banzaan Night Market
The Banzaan Night market mainly consists of food, a lot of food! Walk around and admire a superb choice of seafood with giant prawns and the famous Phuket lobsters. Pick your seafood, weigh it and pay for it; someone will then grill it right in front of you. It’s fresh, a bit cheaper than in a restaurant and a fun experience.
On your way in or out, have a look at the colourful little Chinese shrine, people often miss it, but it’s kind of cute. At night the street surrounding the Banzaan Fresh Market becomes a vast night market where you can buy food, sweets or drink from dozens of food carts.
Banzaan Photo Gallery
Banzaan Market Street View
Banzaan Fresh Market Opening Hours
Location: Patong beach
Address: Sai Kor Road, Patong beach, 8315 Phuket
Open: 6 am – 9 pm
Phone: 099 619 9282
Banzaan Fresh Market Map
If you are on mobile, add it here: https://goo.gl/maps/HjrwcWaaqXTVBQx57